Songpyeon (Half-moon Shaped Rice Cake)

#Songpyeon (#half-#moon #shaped #rice #cakes)

Songpyeon is a must-have Chuseok delicacy. These little rice cakes are stuffed with sweet fillings. Learn how to make songpyeon with natural food coloring options!

4.84 from 6 votes
Dessert, Snack
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 20 minutes
Servings: 4 per batch
Author: Hyosun


  • Steamer


Rice Powder (ssalgaru)

  • 2 cups wet rice powder per batch (about 16 songpyeon) 쌀가루 or 쌀떡가루 - a 2 pound-bag yields a little more than 6 cups (3 batches) - note
  • 4 to 5 ounces pine needles rinsed 2 – 3 times and air or pat dry (optional)
  • 1 teaspoon sesame oil

Natural color option (pick any for each batch):

    Basic (white dough)

    • 2 cups wet rice powder thawed to room temperature if frozen
    • 4 tablespoons plus 1 or 2 teaspoons boiling hot water

    Green dough

    • 2 cups frozen rice powder thawed to room temperature if frozen
    • 1-1/2 to 2 tablespoons mugwort (ssuk garu, 쑥가루) or matcha/green tea powder
    • 5 tablespoons plus 1 or 2 teaspoons boiling hot water

    Yellow dough

    • 2 cups frozen rice powder thawed to room temperature if frozen
    • 1/3 cup cooked steaming hot kabocha, (danhobak, 단호박) 1/4 small kabocha steamed in microwave for about 5 minutes
    • 1 tablespoon plus 1 or 2 teaspoons boiling hot water

    Purple dough

    • 2 cups frozen rice powder thawed to room temperature if frozen
    • 4 tablespoons plus 1 or 2 teaspoons boiling hot blueberry juice 1/2 cup fresh or frozen blueberries finely pureed with 1/2 cup water, strained and boiled

    Pink dough

    • 2 cups frozen rice powder thawed to room temperature if frozen
    • 4 tablespoons raspberry juice 1/2 cup fresh or frozen raspberries finely pureed with 1/2 cup water, strained, and boiled

    Filling: fills about 16 (one batch)

    • 1/3 cup roasted sesame seeds
    • 1-1/2 tablespoons sugar
    • 1 tablespoon honey
    • pinch salt



    • For each type of dough, sift the rice powder into a bowl. Prepare the flavoring and liquid ingredients (water/juice/mugwort powder/kabocha) for each selected color of dough. Add the specified amount of the solid and/or liquid (making sure it’s boiling hot) to the rice powder, quickly stirring them in with a spoon. (Tip: Hold a teaspoon or two of the liquid and make sure more liquid is needed before adding it.)
      Songpyeon dough made with kabocha
    • Knead, pressing and stretching with the heel of the hand. Fold and rotate the dough. Repeat the kneading process for 4 to 5 minutes. (If the dough sticks to your hands or the bowl after some kneading, it’s too wet. Add more rice powder in 1 tablespoon increments. If the dough breaks easily or is too stiff, it’s too dry. Add more boiling hot water in 1 teaspoon increments.)
      Kneading songpyeon dough
    • Cover the dough with plastic wrap or a damp towel. Let it rest for 20 to 30 minutes.
      Songpyeon dough resting


    • Roughly grind the sesame seeds in a grinder or blender. Add the sugar, honey and pinch of salt. Mix everything well together until the sugar and honey are evenly distributed.
      sesame seed filling for songpyeon


    • To assemble, tear off a small piece of the dough enough to make roughly 1-inch ball. Roll tightly between your palms to shape a ball.
      shaping songpyeon dough
    • Make a well in the ball by pressing into it with your thumb, and press outwards, with both of your thumbs, on the inside walls of the well to slightly expand the opening.
      Songpyeon dough
    • Place 1/2 teaspoon of the filling in the well. Seal tightly by squeezing the edges together. Squeeze the whole rice cake lightly in your palm to firm it up, and then gently roll between your palms to smooth out the surface. Shape it into a nice crescent shape. Pinch along to create a wing. Repeat until all the dough/filling is used.
      Songpyeon filling

    Steam and finish:

    • Boil water in a steamer. Place a thin layer of pine needles or a damp kitchen cloth on the steamer insert. Boil the water over high heat. When it starts to steam, place the rice cakes on the steamer insert without the pieces touching one another. Cover with a thin layer of pine needles, if available. Cover and steam for about 20 minutes.
      Steaming songpyeon
    • Prepare a big bowl of cold water. Using a long-handed spoon or tong, remove the rice cakes from the steamer. Drop them in the cold water for a quick rinse, removing all the pine needles. Transfer the rice cakes to a colander to drain. Lightly coat your hands with the sesame oil and rub the oil on the rice cakes in batches. Serve warm or at room temperature
      rinsing songpyeon


    Wet rice powder/flour is usually sold in the frozen section of Korean markets. 
    Source https://www.koreanbapsang.com/songpyeon-half-moon-shaped-rice-cake/

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